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Hacker and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz dies

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Aaron Swartz (flickr)
Aaron Swartz (flickr)

Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old who helped build internet institutions like Reddit and Creative Commons, committed suicide in New York yesterday. The news was confirmed by MIT newspaper The Tech, which received word from both Swartz's uncle and attorney. In addition to his work with Reddit, Swartz also co-authored the very first RSS specification and was involved as an activist through his work as founder of Demand Progress. In 2011 he was charged with stealing 4.8 million documents from the online digital library JSTOR, which just a few days ago announced that it would be offering limited free access to its library. Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing penned an obituary, and you can read it here. Aaron's mother has posted a short statement on Hacker News, saying, "Aaron has been depressed about his case / upcoming trial, but we had no idea what he was going through was this painful."